The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Monday $47 million in funding from the stimulus package for eight projects from 2008 to further smart grid demonstration in seven states.

The projects were first funded in 2008 by the DOE to help modernize the electrical grid with $17 million. They are under different developers including the American Superconductor Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Hawaii, University of Nevada and the Zenergy Power Inc.

Modernizing our electrical grid to make it stronger, smarter, more efficient and more secure is a crucial step in expanding renewable energy and creating jobs, said Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a statement. “These investments will help lay the foundation for American leadership in the clean energy economy.”

The DOE also announced today it has allocated $10.5 million for local governments for strong emergency response plans in case of energy emergencies and supply disruptions.

“Today’s report from the Department of Energy confirms what we have been saying for a long time – smart grid is an engine of economic and technological growth for our country, the GridWise Alliance said in a statement today. We also applaud the granting of funds to universities and cities which are contributing so much to the advancement of smart grid.”

Secretary Chu also announced today that the Department has begun the development of a Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse, which will answer public questions and will distribute information about smart grid initiatives happening nationwide.

The selection of a smart grid clearinghouse will help Americans and companies track and quantify the benefits of the smart grid and measure the transformational potential of and opportunities available from smart grid technologies, the GridWise Alliance said.